Cheyne-Stokes respiration in patients with heart failure: prevalence, causes, consequences and treatments

Respiration. 2012;83(2):165-76. doi: 10.1159/000331457. Epub 2011 Oct 18.


Cheyne-Stokes respiration (CSR) is characterized by a pattern of cyclic oscillations of tidal volume and respiratory rate with periods of hyperpnea alternating with hypopnea or apnea in patients with heart failure. CSR harms the failing heart through intermittent hypoxia brought about by apnea and hypopnea and recurrent sympathetic surges. CSR impairs the quality of life and increases cardiac mortality in patients with heart failure. Thus, CSR should actively be pursued in patients with severe heart failure. When CSR persists despite optimal therapy of heart failure, noninvasive adaptive servoventilation is currently the most promising treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetazolamide / therapeutic use
  • Carbon Dioxide / therapeutic use
  • Cheyne-Stokes Respiration / etiology*
  • Cheyne-Stokes Respiration / therapy*
  • Heart Failure / complications*
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration
  • Theophylline / therapeutic use


  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Theophylline
  • Acetazolamide